I moved to Amsterdam in August 2019, at the start of my bachelor’s at the University of Amsterdam. Before coming to Amsterdam, I had two gap years and spent a lot of that time travelling, and during my time away Christian community was lacking in my life.
When I moved to Amsterdam it was a priority for me to find community and besides being a part of a church community group, I also joined the Navigators. The Navigators is like a family and has created a home away from home for me.
It can be hard to commit to community and I have definitely struggled in the past with prioritising community, as it can be easy to put school or work first. But this year I have tried to prioritise community, and this has allowed my faith to grow so much. Investing time in a community has allowed me to realise how I am not alone in the challenges I face in following Jesus. You can see that others also struggle or have struggled in the same ways you do, and this is so reassuring. The more time I have spent in community, the closer I have grown to others, and the easier it has been to share experiences and be vulnerable with each other. This vulnerability deepens friendships further and enables you to support and build each other up and grow in your relationship with Jesus.
I have grown so much from being in community, and with my Navigator community last January we did a week of prayer and social media fasting. This was a huge challenge for me, and something I wouldn’t have managed alone, however community made it easier. During this week we kept each other accountable, and again this allowed deeper relationships to form. During this past semester, our Navigator community has done a Foundations study together, investigating some of God’s promises and something amazing I have been discovering from this study is that reading the word together can be so much more insightful than reading alone.
On a journey with Jesus
Sometimes from being in a community I find myself comparing my journey or relationship with Jesus with others and I can feel bad about not spending as much time reading the bible each day as others do, but it is important to remember that we each have a personal relationship with Jesus and to not compare.
From spending time with others in community this past year who are filled with joy and passion for Jesus has inspired me to seek God more in my life and to deepen my relationship with Jesus. I am so grateful for my Navigator community.